The Cleantech Crash

1/10/14
 
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from CBS-60 Minutes,
1/5/14:

Despite billions invested by the U.S. government in so-called “Cleantech” energy, Washington and Silicon Valley have little to show for it

About a decade ago, the smart people who funded the Internet turned their attention to the energy sector, rallying tech engineers to invent ways to get us off fossil fuels, devise powerful solar panels, clean cars, and futuristic batteries. The idea got a catchy name: “Cleantech.”

Silicon Valley got Washington excited about it. President Bush was an early supporter, but the federal purse strings truly loosened under President Obama. Hoping to create innovation and jobs, he committed north of a $100 billion in loans, grants and tax breaks to Cleantech. But instead of breakthroughs, the sector suffered a string of expensive tax-funded flops. Suddenly Cleantech was a dirty word.

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